Amazon's The Dark Tower TV series has officially kicked off production. What's more, we have word that Michael Rooker has joined the cast of the show. This is set to be something of a do-over adaptation of Stephen King's beloved series of novels. The Ron Howard-produced movie version, released in 2017, didn't manage to deliver on expectations, critically or commercially speaking, so a show is happening instead. Now, we have word that the pilot has already started filming in Croatia.
According to a report straight from the official Michael Rooker website, the Guardians of the Galaxy star has been added to the cast. At the present time, details regarding his role have yet to be revealed. We learned in March that Sam Strike (Nightflyers) will play Roland Deschain, aka The Gunslinger, with Jasper Paakkonen (Vikings) set to portray The Man in Black, aka Marten Broadcloak, aka Randall Flagg. So we can safely rule out Rooker taking on one of the two main lead roles. Unfortunately, we don't have much else to go on right now, so all anyone can do is hopelessly speculate.
Thanks to the success of IT at the box office in 2017, Stephen King adaptations have never been hotter in Hollywood. Couple that with the fact that every streaming service out there is desperate for big-name content that can attract subscribers and something like The Dark Tower makes an awful lot of sense for Amazon. It also makes more sense for the story, as King's epic spans nine novels. It always seemed like a tall order to distill any of that down to one movie, or possibly a trilogy (had things gone over better). With a series, the story can be more fully fleshed out over time.
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While it's not totally clear at the present time which books Amazon will be pulling from for the first season, the story on how Roland became a gunslinger, as well as his first encounter with the villainous Man in Black. Early on, we heard that the show would adapt Wizard and Glass, back when it was supposed to directly tie-in with the movie. That has since changed. But it seems the idea is to start at the beginning of the core relationship at the center of the sprawling tale, which makes sense, as it can then appeal to the widest possible audience, and not just King die-hards.
Glen Mazzara, of The Walking Dead fame, developed the series and will serve as showrunner. That might help explain how Michael Rooker got involved, since the actor appeared on early seasons of the hit AMC zombie series. , Akiva Goldsman (Titans, Star Trek: Discovery) also helped develop the series, alongside Stephen King. The first season will consist of 13 episodes, but it doesn't yet have a premiere date. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details are made available. This news was first shared at MichaelRookerOnline.com.